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China asks Czech Republic to teach them hockey before 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics

China needs to improve quickly to qualify for the tournament they'll be hosting.

Martin Rose/Getty Images

The Winter Olympics come to China in 2022, which means the Chinese will need to field competent winter sports teams for the first time in their nation's history. According to reports, they've turned to the Czech Republic for help.

The Mladá fronta Dnes reports that top Chinese sports officials have asked Czech Republic officials to teach them ice hockey and biathlon ahead of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. Czech prime minister Bohuslav Sobotka and other officials will visit China this week to sign an official memorandum for the partnership.

Chinese Olympic Committee president Peng Liu met with Czech hockey and biathlon athletes and coaches last week.

"He was surprised by lots of things such as the summer training on roller skates," organizer Vlastimil Jakeš is quoted as saying.

China has brought successful skaters and skiers to the Winter Olympics for years, but their ice hockey and biathlon teams have failed to experience the same level of success. And just because they are hosting the event doesn't guarantee China a spot in the men's ice hockey tournament. The Chinese national team must rank in the top 18 teams around the world.

China is currently 38th in the International Ice Hockey Federation world rankings. For comparison's sake, Mexico, Italy and Israel are ranked higher.